Continuous Improvement, Kaizen, Motivation

Are you tired of trying?

One of the biggest challenges we have is our employees turn over rate.  With a very consistent 10% to 11% percent rate, we need to get back to the basic training all the time.  Almost every day when we visit the gemba we found somebody new that is not following standards or is creating and sending to the next station bad products.   Obviously is lack of training and follow-up from supervisors.

Every year when we revise our achievements of the previous one and decide which will be the goals we hesitate on what percentage of improvement would be achievable yet not too easy.  What makes us hesitate?  The employees turn over rate is the reason.  With new people at gemba every week our supervisors have their hands full just doing basic training.  Most of the available time for training is used for regulatory and basic training for the newcomers.  What about our continuous improvement projects?  What happened with the kaizen?

We need to keep those things going at the same time, all the time.  If we don’t kaizen every day, everywhere we are not living the continuous improvement spirit!  Two steps forward and one step back is ok, inertia; not moving at all is not ok.  We can never be too tired to try, we can never be too tired to kaizen.

We all live great moments during our Lean Journeys where almost everything looks so perfect!  People participate, try to achieve!  Most of what we tried works!  Is like being at the top of the world!  All of us like being there, all of us like to have new reasons for celebration.  But those moments do not last forever, there are others when the harder we try, the harder we fall.  Is during those moments that we feel tired of trying, exhausted.

Is during those times of drought when we need to prove yourself that we are good leaders.  Is during those moments that we need to motivate yourself and our people to continue our ride.  The mere act of trying, of not let yourself feel defeated, the desire to go back to the top of the world, that is the motivation.  That motivation resides within us, waiting for us ready to fuel our efforts to overcome the current challenge.  We are student-teachers, we need to learn how to refuel our motivation and not let the lighthouse beam out of our sight to teach others how to do it. I like to lead by example, when people recognize you as a leader they follow your example.  If you show everybody that you are tired, everybody will give up as well and the Lean Journey will be doom.  Tired?  Take a small rest and go back to the battle!  Stagnation or inertia are no options.

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